17 Brown Pelicans / Pelecanus occidentalis, Blue Waters Inn, Tobago
Before I forget again, if anyone happens to notice an incorrect ID for any of the photos I took on this trip, please do let me know! Everything was a lifer for me and I'd never even heard of most of the birds we saw.
Believe it or not, I had never seen a Brown Pelican before! We only get the American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) here. However, there were several of these beautiful birds hanging around the Blue Waters Inn, on the Island of Tobago, when we were there mid-March. Sometimes, they were flying or floating on the aquamarine water of the Atlantic Ocean, or else perched on a small, wooden, floating pier out in the bay. I love the pattern of their wing feathers.
"The Brown Pelican is a comically elegant bird with an oversized bill, sinuous neck, and big, dark body. They feed by plunge-diving from high up, using the force of impact to stun small fish before scooping them up. They are fairly common today—an excellent example of a species’ recovery from pesticide pollution that once placed them at the brink of extinction." From AllAboutBirds.
Bear with me, everyone, as I think I am going to have to post 5 (I posted 6 the first two days) photos from my trip each day, otherwise it will take me many months (years?) to get them on to Flickr. Obviously, no comments expected, unless you happen to like one photo in particular. Actually, I am so disappointed with my photos - never have so many photos come out blurry, many totally blurry and no use at all. I'm not sure why, though the light was often really bad and maybe the humidity had some effect. For some species, I will be posting awful shots, just for the record.
It will take me forever to do much of a write-up about this trip, but I hope to add an extra bit of information about each photo to the very simple, basic description. Right now, I'm not quite sure where I was and when, lol! We arrived back in Calgary three evenings ago, on 21 March 2017, and I have to get myself somewhat organized and see to all sorts of important things. Totally dead beat after such a busy time away, dealing with extremely early mornings and hot, humid weather. Those of you who know me well, know that I am a dreadful night-owl, so getting up around 5:15 am was an absolute killer. Also, heat and humidity don't agree with my body, so each trip out was quite exhausting. In the morning of 21 March, we had to get up around 2:00 am, as we had such an early flight (5 and a half hours) from Trinidad to Toronto - followed by a four-hour flight back to Calgary. On our very first day, we had three flights in a row, as we flew from Calgary to Toronto, then Toronto to Port of Spain on Trinidad, from where we had a short flight to the island of Tobago.
This adventure was only the second holiday (or was it actually my third?) of any kind, anywhere, that I have had in something like 30 or 35 years! The other holiday was a one-week holiday with my great friends from England, Linda and Tony, when we went down south to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in September 2012. I have had maybe half a dozen weekends away, including to Waterton National Park, which have helped keep me going.
Six birding/photographer friends and I decided that we would take this exciting trip together, spending the first two or three days on the island of Tobago and then the rest of the time at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the nearby, larger island of Trinidad. We decided to take a complete package, so everything was included - flights (we were so very lucky to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!), accommodation at both places, all our food, and the various walks and day trips that we could chose from. Two of my friends, Anne B. and Brenda, saw to all the planning of flights and accommodations, which was so very much appreciated by the rest of us. I could never have done all this myself!
What a time we had, seeing so many beautiful things - and, of course, everything was a lifer for me. Some of these friends had visited Costa Rica before, so were familiar with quite a few of the birds. There was a lot more to see on Trinidad, so we were glad that we chose Tobago to visit first and then spend a longer time at Asa Wright. It was wonderful to be right by the sea, though, at the Blue Waters Inn on the island of Tobago.
The Asa Wright Nature Centre on the much larger island of Trinidad is such an amazing place! We stayed in cabins up or down hill from the main building. Really, one doesn't need to travel away from the Centre for birding, as so many different species visit the Hummingbird feeders that are right by the huge, open veranda, and the trees of the rain forest high up a mountainous road. The drive up and down this narrow, twisting, pot-holed road was an adventure in itself! Never would I ever do this drive myself - we had a guide who drove us everywhere in a van/small bus. I had read many accounts of this road, lol! There was just enough room for two vehicles to squeeze past each other, and the honking of horns was almost continuous - either to warn any vehicle that might be coming around the next bend or as a sign that drivers knew each other. The drive along this road took just over an hour each way.
I'm already missing the great food that was provided every single day at Asa Wright and the Rum Punch that appeared each evening. I never drink at all, so I wasn't sure if I would even try the Punch - glad I did, though, as it was delicious and refreshing.
TobagoislandSpeysideBlue Waters InnBatteaux BayAtlantic OceannatureornithologyavianbirdbirdsPelicanBrown PelicanPelecanus occidentalislargetwoswimmingfloatingside viewwaterseaoceanaquamarinewater patternsoutdoor13 March 2017FZ200FZ200number4annkelliottAnne Elliott© Anne Elliott 2017© All Rights ReservedAnne Elliott, from
Trinidad & Tobago, 12-21 March 2017